It seems strange to me that if you do an internet search on 'embracing uncertainty', all you get is self-help about overcoming personal doubt and fear. That's a good thing for individuals to do - but what about organisations? Is embracing organisational uncertainty about overcoming doubt and fear too? I'm guessing (hoping) most people would think that this is very partial perspective but unfortunately the way that many organisations think about risk is in this vein - they think about what might hurt them, then try to minimise that hurt. It leads to partial understanding of uncertainty and often to erosion of value.
Embracing uncertainty in organisational settings is about understanding what you want to do (strategy and objectives), understanding what uncertainties might lead you towards or away from what you want (risks) then deciding what actions to take to secure a return on investment with a tolerable chance of success.
The hardest part of this is to understand the uncertainties that matter in as objective a way as possible - with the organisations' collective eyes open, and with open minds to appreciate different perspectives on what might happen and how much it would matter.
My role is to help senior leaders to embrace uncertainty with their eyes and minds open. Often, the biggest hurdle to doing that is to overcome the perspective that embracing uncertainty is only about dealing with doubts and fears (of shareholders, staff, self) about what might go wrong.
I'm looking forward in 2015 to thinking of yet more ways to persuade senior leaders to stop thinking about risk with a narrow view and to start truly embracing the many sources of uncertainty that relate to their strategy.